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Voices of the Valley: Dave Ratner, Dave’s Soda and Pet City

By The Republican

I started in 1975 selling all different brands of soda out of an abandoned Arco station on Route 9 in Hadley. About a year later, I bought a dog, a Bentley beagle, and one day I went into a grocery store to buy dog food and noticed there was more pet food than soda.

I decided to go into the pet food business. In 1976, I opened my second store, in Agawam in an abandoned four-bay car wash. We now have five stores, in Agawam, Springfield, Northampton, Ware and Hadley.

We sell every brand of pet food known to man and all kinds of nonalcoholic beverages and waters, pet supplies, fish, small animals, birds and reptiles.

The good news is we have been OK because maybe you can’t stand your husband or wife, you hate your kids, but you love your dog or cat. You still buy the premium food, but not the treats that go with it.

We’ve been in this building two years, where the size has allowed me to buy large quantities of things. We have so many promotions and deals we keep getting more customers. With five stores we have pretty good buying power. We buy overstocks and we pass the deals on to our customers.

Fortunately, we actually had to hire some help. We employ about 100.

We have become a lot more aggressive with prices. We are pushing our vendors to get deals. We are selling high end and lower end food.

For our own business, the future is very good. I don’t see people’s love of their pets disappearing any time soon. We have earned a great reputation in the community. We are like an icon in Western Mass.

Dave Ratner featured in MassLive
Article Featured in MassLive: http://www.masslive.com/business-news/index.ssf/2011/01/post_14.html

 

Posted in Articles, Retail on January 31, 2011 by Dave Ratner.

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